Creativity isn’t something that just happens – it needs fostering. In fact, everyone has a well of creativity, it’s just about doing the things that help that creative side really develop.
Even the most creative people will tell you that they have moments when they freeze up, and when they do they work hard at pushing through and getting their creativity back.
Wanting to foster more creativity in your own life? Try these 11 ideas for getting your creative side going.
1. Put. Down. The. Phone.
Want to be more creative? Start taking in your surroundings. That of course means putting down your phone. Waiting for the bus? Don’t text, look around you instead. See who’s standing next to you. Think about what color they’re wearing. Look at the trees. Do they have leaves? What shape are they? Being open to the world around you will bring plenty of inspiration.
2. Get off your computer.
Nothing kills creativity like sitting in front of a computer, so if you’re feeling like you’re drained in terms of creativity, step away from the screen. If you need to write or draw, pick up a real pen and paper.
3. Pick a specific moment in your life and write about it.
It doesn’t need to turn into a specific story or essay – just let yourself write the thoughts and memories that come to mind. You want to make your brain work. The other benefit? This practice can actually make you feel happier with your life.
This goes back to #1 and #2, but it also relates to work in general: if you don’t allow yourself time off from working, you don’t give your time to wander. So play.
5. Set aside a specific time every day to write.
Set aside 30 minutes that are solely devoted to free-writing. Julia Cameron in “The Artist’s Way” calls these “morning pages.” They’re not really writing, they’re simply a way to document everything that comes across your mind.
6. Do something just for you.
If you work in a creative industry, there often becomes a certain pressure to only produce when it’s for work. But in order to stay creative, you have to encourage yourself to produce even when it’s not for anyone but yourself. Draw a picture. Paint a landscape. Write a story. And keep it just for yourself.
7. Get active.
Some studies show that exercise helps boost creativity. What better reason do you need to go out for a run or a bike ride?
8. Get rid of distractions.
If you’re wanting to create a space that’s conducive to creativity, make sure it’s one where you’re not bothered. That means phone calls, emails, even visitors. You want to devote time and energy to your creative space, physically and mentally, and that means focusing on what you’re doing 100 percent.
9. Embrace your morning time.
That time before the entire day starts rolling? The golden hour. Don’t check your email right away. Don’t start reading the news. Use that time wisely. Write. Read. Dance. Think.
10. Use your hands.
We so rarely use our hands to do things anymore, and actively using your hands to do something engages your brain in a very different way than our usual tasks. Dig in the garden. Build something. Bake something.
11. Find an accountability partner.
Need to make sure you’re making time to be creative? Have a friend to do it with. Nothing makes us do something like being held accountable. So find someone else that needs to devote a few more hours a week to creative time and make sure you both do it. Better yet: set aside that time to do something creative together.
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